“There can be no finer guarantee to a nation’s welfare than a free press in the service of a free nation”: Mountbatten’s 1947 message

The following is the full text of the message sent by Lord Mountbatten, the outgoing Viceroy, on India’s Independence Day in 1947.

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“I send my greetings and best wishes to the Indian press and all your readers on this historic day. It is good to know that paper restrictions have been relaxed to enable special Independence Day numbers to be produced and justice to be done to a great occasion.

“I would like to pay my tribute to the constructive attitude of the press during my brief, but crowded term of office as viceroy. Upon the press has fallen the heavy responsibility for keeping the people well informed about one of the most complex political and administrative operations in history. By upholding fair correct and accurate reports, it has an equally vital part to play in the future. There can be no finer guarantee to a nation’s welfare than a free press in the service of a free nation

Mountbatten of Burma

15th August, 1947

***

Screenshot: courtesy The Hindu

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